Customer Reviews


20 Reviews
5 star:
 (13)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, if breathless, overview of mankind's ethical journey
As someone who is just beginning to explore philosophy and ethics, having only dipped my toe in in the past, I can only recommend this book. It's a bit of a whistle-stop-tour, only briefly touching on some major themes before moving on, and it's only 344 pages (on Kindle with narrow margins) so you're left a bit breathless by the end with a lot to think about, but it's...
Published 3 months ago by Purcey-Burce

› See more 5 star, 4 star reviews
versus
21 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A liberal searches for something almost as good
Not so much a quest for a moral compass as the assessment of various moral systems from the perspective of an intransigent liberal. Malik assesses and rejects many moral systems on the grounds that their implications appear counter intuitive. His rejection of emotivism, for example, could be accurately surmised as saying that one may emotional determine murder to wrong in...
Published 7 months ago by Mr. N. Turner

› See more 3 star, 2 star, 1 star reviews

‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, if breathless, overview of mankind's ethical journey, 19 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics (Kindle Edition)
As someone who is just beginning to explore philosophy and ethics, having only dipped my toe in in the past, I can only recommend this book. It's a bit of a whistle-stop-tour, only briefly touching on some major themes before moving on, and it's only 344 pages (on Kindle with narrow margins) so you're left a bit breathless by the end with a lot to think about, but it's absolutely fascinating and does it's job of giving a broad overview of the ethical journey mankind has been on since ancient times admirably. I've only dropped a star because I think he could easily have explored some of the themes a bit more and added a couple of hundred pages without detracting from the readibility and the ultimately satisfying nature of the book. Still, definitely one book I'm glad to have read. Thank you Mr. Malik!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible scope and depth, 24 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics (Kindle Edition)
This is an ambitious book that succeeds in its mission to cover the development of moral thought across three millenia and many cultures. Malik gives concise precis of the thoughts of such diverse philosophers as Socrates, Aquinas, Confucius, Neitzsche, Kant and Hobbes both explaining and critiquing their respective contributions without imposing his own views unduly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A helpful guide endowed with an impressive intellectual compass., 11 Mar. 2015
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics (Kindle Edition)
A superbly written and argued comprehensive survey of Moral philosophy. It is shocking to note that the kindle version retails at only £ 1, an insult to the author even if it ensures wider circulation.

Not only his detailed account of Western moral philosophy is lucidly discussed but he brings in the unfamiliar Indian, Chinese and Islamic views to enrich our perspective. The message to take is that moral thinking doesn't happen in a void or a rarefied intellectual atmosphere. It can only be understood within the context of the prevalent social, economic and political conditions of the various historical societies as they went through identity belief crises, internecine conflict or periods of stability. The search for an anchor to legitimise our moral ideas be it Reason , Religion or Society and to ground them on irrefutable principles be it duty , utility , justice or evolutionary advantage will remain a thankless task dividing moral philosophers for centuries. As long as social institutions , scientific techniques and human interactions keep changing moral questions will continue to perplex us, but this is no excuse for amorality.

Undoubtedly the scientific background of the author is a great asset that ensures a methodical approach, clarity of analysis and pithy conclusions, that is unfortunately often lacking in works by authors with a " human sciences" background.This is a book for all seasons that will remain on the shelf for regular inspection and consultation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to the philosophy of ethics, 14 Feb. 2015
By 
Dr. H. A. Jones "Howard Jones" (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The Quest for a Moral Compass: A global history of ethics by Kenan Malik, Atlantic Books, London, 2014, 392pp.

The title of this book tells us precisely what it is about – it is an introduction to the history of humanity’s search for ethical values. It presents a survey of moral issues raised by philosophers from those of ancient Greece to 20th century philosophers like G.E. Moore and the pragmatists. It is skilfully written but, as an author and publisher myself, I would see the market for this book being mainly among lay or academic students of philosophy.

The much shorter books on ‘Ethics’ by J.L. Mackie (Penguin) and ‘Moral Philosophy’ by D.D. Raphael (Oxford) are much more accessible for the interested layman, and I found Richard Norman’s ‘The Moral Philosophers’ (Oxford) the most useful as a student though, dating as they do, from the end of the 20th century they might be regarded by some as out-of-date. While certain moral issues come and go with time and others vary between societies, there are certain basic issues which are timeless and universal – like needing to distinguish between what is subjective and what is objective; or recognizing what role intuitions play in prescribing or inhibiting moral behaviour.

I think Tom Holland’s comment on the book jacket that Malik’s treatise could ever replace Bertrand Russell’s ‘History of Western Philosophy’ is quite mistaken: Malik’s book deals with only a small section of the subject of philosophy. Malik is a lecturer, writer and broadcaster who specializes in the history and philosophy of science, and of biology in particular.

Ethics is perhaps the most personal and subjective of all the branches of philosophy, compared with the philosophy of science, metaphysics or even religion. So while an author can recount what philosophers have said about moral issues through the ages, interpreting these views with regard to their significance for contemporary society is inevitably very much a matter of an author’s personal viewpoint. Malik seems to come down firmly on the side of relativism. In summarizing near the end of the book Malik says: ‘Questions of morality do not have objective answers in the way that scientific questions do, but neither are they merely expressions of subjective desire or taste’. My feeling is that many ethical questions are precisely that.

At the end of the book, there are Reference Notes to each chapter, a ten-page Bibliography of further reading and an Index that was sufficiently detailed for me to find out something about each of the moral philosophers and their issues that I knew about.

Howard Jones is the author of Evolution of Consciousness
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 17 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a masterly and crystal clear distillation of many of the major influencers of the ways we try to make sense of the world and assess behaviour. Immensely readable, it captures the logic and excitement of human thinking and the never-ending story of our search for moral direction.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars G Webster, 28 Mar. 2015
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics (Kindle Edition)
Thanks Mr Malik, you have just filled one of my needs. I enjoyed a very slow read through a very enjoyable journey. I have been looking for a book to explain the timeline of philosophy and philosophers, while understanding the history of the time they lived. This book supplied that and more. I have a greater understanding of philosophers, their class and the political beliefs of their times. I will refer back to the book and will heartily recommend it to others. One small quibble. Why when using the unconnected subjective pronoun was it always "she?" Was the book intended for the female reader, or should you have a word with your proof reader? Still, brilliant read, well written and easily read. Morality? I have a greater understanding of that and human nature than I did before I started.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 10 Oct. 2014
This is an education in a book. It is superbly written so that complex ideas are made easy to follow. Key themes, such as free will or ideas of human nature, are used to connect ideas from around the world in a narrative arc that explains how ideas and changing times worked together. As an intellectual primer and as a starting point for jumping off to explore new ideas I have seen nothing like it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable and lucid; a must-read, 22 Mar. 2015
By 
Per Kraulis (Stockholm, Sweden) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a remarkable work, describing the moral thinking of a large range of thinkers from the ancient Greeks onwards. The discussions includes descriptions of Indian and Chinese schools of thought that brings out the universal aspects of moral thought but at the same time highlighting the important differences and disagreements. I learned a lot from this book. It has to be read. For more comments, see my blog post https://kraulis.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/a-must-read-kenan-maliks-book-on-the-history-of-moral-philosphy/
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, 21 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics (Kindle Edition)
This book gives a review of philosophy and religion from the ancients up to the present day. It is generally fascinating and, as someone with extensive reading in philosophy, it tied up quite a few loose ends. Thoroughly recommended to anyone with an enquiring and open mind.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars One To Watch, 1 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics (Kindle Edition)
Great writing, thoroughly thought through and without bias and prejudice that I can see easily. Kenan Malik is one to watch.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Love, Poverty and War: Journeys and Essays
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27)   
Buy new£7.29
Available for download now

The Great Philosophers: From Socrates to Foucault
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2)   
Buy new£1.99
Available for download now

From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Legacy
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5)   
Buy new£6.99
Available for download now